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Old 08-24-2014, 01:28 PM   #261
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Re: Smells Like Teen Spirit: Conversion of 1999 Thomas MVP

Thanks for the link. Good price and free shipping. Where did you read about the Rotella being better than Cat?
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Old 08-24-2014, 05:05 PM   #262
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Re: Smells Like Teen Spirit: Conversion of 1999 Thomas MVP

WOW!!! Great job on the repairs! Starting to work with my baby tomorrow (2000 MVP). Engine gets up to 165* and stays there.... When she goes to auction I'm aiming to get her. Reading your posts along with Mr. Bailey's as well... Still cheering for ya both! BTW, mine is rust free so far.....
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Old 09-14-2014, 07:54 PM   #263
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil
glad trip went good, how is the arm?

nice pics
Thanks! It healed a few days after, they gave me antibiotics (which kind of sucks but whatever) and it went away after, but there is still a mark.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePimentals
Seriously awesome. My jeep doesn't run that cool. I'm way excited for you.

How your plan going for off grid electrical? I just spent so much money on my system, not installed yet. But I can tell you that handybobsolar site is great and he also answered all of my emails to help me design the system. Just read his whole site first (twice).
Lots and lots of batteries. I actually haven't thought too too much about it. Probably 4 bigguns, four 6-volts with 2 wired in series then the pair of series run in parallel. Maybe six like that, depending on cost. I have my 12 volt built in charger hooked up and working like a champ, then I will do either manual or electric switches / solenoids to isolate the starting batteries. I would like to do a 100-200 watt solar panel / array as well. I have a 6.5kw air cooled diesel generator that I would like to use but it is SO DAMN LOUD. I will do some experimentation with it but I feel like even with rubber isolators, dynamat and an enclosure, it will still be too loud to use for primary purposes so I will likely only use that when desperate. Thanks for the tip on the site.

Also, all of my lighting (except dash and headlights) are LED and very efficient. I forgot to turn the charger on for 24 hours and we had all interior lights on and the accent lights too and the bus still cranked up right away with the 2 smallish SUV-sized batteries in it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazycal
Thanks for the link. Good price and free shipping. Where did you read about the Rotella being better than Cat?
I didn't hear that, it was just cheaper and made to their specs. Also they had free 2-day shipping for a little while which is a great deal for 6 gallons of liquid. It "meets or exceeds cat specifications." Also, Shell Rotella T 15w-40 oil is bangin, I use that in the bus and my car, my friend uses it in his W123 Merc so I know shell makes good stuff. It quieted the valvetrain of my E30 nicely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by M1031
WOW!!! Great job on the repairs! Starting to work with my baby tomorrow (2000 MVP). Engine gets up to 165* and stays there.... When she goes to auction I'm aiming to get her. Reading your posts along with Mr. Bailey's as well... Still cheering for ya both! BTW, mine is rust free so far.....
Exciting! You will find rust :P
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Old 09-14-2014, 08:31 PM   #264
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Re: Smells Like Teen Spirit: Conversion of 1999 Thomas MVP

So I was driving at night the other day and am coming to terms with how bad my headlight setup was. I had bought projector versions of my 6 x 7 headlights, to install HID lights in and hopefully have better lights. The projectors ended up being crappy and not aiming well, and one HID burned out due to the Thomas wiring harness being screwed up. So I ran it like that for a bit, but I decided to go back to sealed beam halogen lights, (I fixed the wiring harness) and add some driving lights (rally-style) on a seperate switch to use when the road gets real dark and nobody is around. So I bought these LED driving lights off amazon and mounted them:



I will post links for anyone who needs them. It was $120 for the four. The outer two are wide beam 60 degree lights, at 27 watts each; 2,090 lumens each. The inners are narrow beam 10 degree lights, at 42 watts each; 2,590 lumens each. Needless to say they are VERY BRIGHT. I used an old switch from the original pedestrian lights to turn them on and off and mounted it on the side switch panel.

Just halogen sealed beams:





Just LEDs:





Before:



After:



So you SHOULD NOT use these when there is traffic around, and it is probably illegal to use these on roads. However, some dark winding campground or other rural roads they will help me see deer or whatever coming that I could otherwise not see with the stock headlights.
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Old 09-14-2014, 08:46 PM   #265
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Re: Smells Like Teen Spirit: Conversion of 1999 Thomas MVP

I forgot to mention previously, I went to an Allison Transmission service pleace to try to get my 6th gear enabled, second overdrive to save fuel / noise / engine wear, and they wouldn't do it. We were all set to go but the tires I had on did not match the ones Thomas specified they had tested the bus with at speed. Mine are 295mm wide, the ones specified are 275mm wide. However, they have the same speed rating, so it should be fine. But the guys at the shop won't do it unless it says on tghe letter from Thomas exactly the tires I have, because it pins the liability on them. So we had to do this trip with only one overdrive, suckin' down fuel at 9 mpg.

We went on another brief trip this weekend! We went to "First Landing State Park" in Virginia, a few miles north of VA beach. It is right on the opening of the Chesapeake Bay into the Atlantic Ocean, we were oceanside. Here is the site:











We did a DIY awning cause it rained some:



It was a nice place. The weather didn't cooperate too well, but we made the best and ate like kings. The fridge was stocked pretty well, too.



And not my picture, but the sunset was beautiful.



Apparently, due to some liquor, we were making too much noise at 1 am on our last night and the park police showed up. They just told us to quiet down, and I (drunkenly) showed them inside the bus and they loved it, a bunch of other people at the park came up to it and loved it too. It is cool to know that despite not having the best interior or most functional rig, people still appreciate my hard work. The other nice thing is, since I paid for everything on this and did all the work, I rarely have to pay for food or fuel when taking people places

My dad brought his friend who snored like a Detroit Diesel, and we made him sleep outside the second night, on the beach like you see in the panoramic picture. We had a tent we brought but picked up the wrong poles, so he just slept in the collapsed tent like it was a sleeping bag. It was a good time.

We got it weighed on our way back at a TA truck stop, and we clocked in at:



Which is a LOT lighter than I expected. I had still never weighed the bus until this point and had NO IDEA if I was legally allowed to drive it. So it weighed in at 21,420 with all four of us on board, 150 - 220 lbs each, all our crap, and a full 60 gal tank of diesel. This thing probably was 18,000 when empty, as the flooring I put in is decently heavy, as well as the doors that I made the walls out of. The weight distribution is 33% front, 67% rear, so it is not quite a BMW.

Speaking of walls, despite how secure everything seemed when assembling it, stuff is coming loose. Screws holding my walls on have backed out some or completely, stuff creaks more and my microwave mount broke loose and the thing fell to its death. The air horn compression fitting for the supply line came off too and we drove with an air leak until I could stop and do a rigged repair at a rest stop. So I have some work to do making all that better.

No real mechanical issues on this trip though!

Next up, I need to finish the trim, make the inside look more cleanly done and install heat, the generator, and maybe some more batteries and a solar system.

Please feel free to ask any questions!
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Old 09-14-2014, 10:34 PM   #266
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Re: Smells Like Teen Spirit: Conversion of 1999 Thomas MVP

Awesome trip! What kind of fridge did you get?

And as far as legal or not, as long as your bus is titled and registered as an rv there is no limit on size. I called Alabama state patrol and Arizona DPS (their state police) and both told me that as long as it is privately registered and not used for commercial purposes, then a regular operators license is fine. The federal DOT regulates what needs a class A license or doesn't, not the states individually. Now I did hear someone mention maybe a specialized endorsement may be needed for air brakes, however, if your state doesn't, then you should be fine.
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Old 09-14-2014, 10:42 PM   #267
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Re: Smells Like Teen Spirit: Conversion of 1999 Thomas MVP

Porkchop, I got a similar spider bite in PA last summer on vacation, complete with track marks, visit to urgent care and course of antibiotics. Did you see the critter? I felt the SOB chomp down on my thigh twice but didn't have the pleasure of crushing the f@ker into goo. Hopefully you got more satisfaction in your encounter.
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Old 09-14-2014, 11:20 PM   #268
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Re: Smells Like Teen Spirit: Conversion of 1999 Thomas MVP

sounds like you had a blast its so true, things come loose, I had screws fall off, and the bracket that held my microwave oven broke too, but It didn't fall out, I guess part of the problem is a bus has such a stiff ride things just loosen up. I had my bus weighed, 8500kgs(18700pounds) with that info I lowered the tire pressure to 75 pounds, and it made a noticeable improvement in the ride, this should help keep things screwed into place.
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Old 09-14-2014, 11:46 PM   #269
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Re: Smells Like Teen Spirit: Conversion of 1999 Thomas MVP

Quote:
Originally Posted by Docsgsxr
Awesome trip! What kind of fridge did you get?

And as far as legal or not, as long as your bus is titled and registered as an rv there is no limit on size. I called Alabama state patrol and Arizona DPS (their state police) and both told me that as long as it is privately registered and not used for commercial purposes, then a regular operators license is fine. The federal DOT regulates what needs a class A license or doesn't, not the states individually. Now I did hear someone mention maybe a specialized endorsement may be needed for air brakes, however, if your state doesn't, then you should be fine.
The fridge in the pic is not what I got, that is in my parents house. The fridge I got is: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/whirlpool-1 ... &cp=1&lp=3

In black. From best buy. It was on sale for more off when I got it, like 300 or so. It is a 120 volt unit I run off my inverter while driving and it works like a charm!

That is good news about licensing, it has not been an issue yet (never pulled over) but I am sure I will run into it at some point. In MD, on a class C (normal) license, air brakes are a restriction rather than an endorsement, and regular licenses are not air brake restricted. So as long as the vehicle is under 26k and has air brakes, you are good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IronChariot
Porkchop, I got a similar spider bite in PA last summer on vacation, complete with track marks, visit to urgent care and course of antibiotics. Did you see the critter? I felt the SOB chomp down on my thigh twice but didn't have the pleasure of crushing the f@ker into goo. Hopefully you got more satisfaction in your encounter.
I did not see it. I would have burnt the fucker if I did, because I got a bite like that a month or so prior. I fogged my room and my bus with insect foggers, and have been ok since, but I think it is probably an allergic reaction to some bugs venom because of the way it reacts. But who knows, did you feel any ill effects?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbstewart
sounds like you had a blast its so true, things come loose, I had screws fall off, and the bracket that held my microwave oven broke too, but It didn't fall out, I guess part of the problem is a bus has such a stiff ride things just loosen up. I had my bus weighed, 8500kgs(18700pounds) with that info I lowered the tire pressure to 75 pounds, and it made a noticeable improvement in the ride, this should help keep things screwed into place.
gbstewart
This one has a wicked stiff ride. I hope new shocks will help but maybe not. I just need to anchor stuff better, and if I ever question if it is strong enough than it needs to be stronger! I would rather keep psi up for mpg, but good idea.
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Old 09-15-2014, 08:29 AM   #270
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Re: Smells Like Teen Spirit: Conversion of 1999 Thomas MVP

Quote:
Originally Posted by porkchopsandwiches
Quote:
Originally Posted by Docsgsxr
Awesome trip! What kind of fridge did you get?

And as far as legal or not, as long as your bus is titled and registered as an rv there is no limit on size. I called Alabama state patrol and Arizona DPS (their state police) and both told me that as long as it is privately registered and not used for commercial purposes, then a regular operators license is fine. The federal DOT regulates what needs a class A license or doesn't, not the states individually. Now I did hear someone mention maybe a specialized endorsement may be needed for air brakes, however, if your state doesn't, then you should be fine.
The fridge in the pic is not what I got, that is in my parents house. The fridge I got is: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/whirlpool-1 ... &cp=1&lp=3

In black. From best buy. It was on sale for more off when I got it, like 300 or so. It is a 120 volt unit I run off my inverter while driving and it works like a charm!

That is good news about licensing, it has not been an issue yet (never pulled over) but I am sure I will run into it at some point. In MD, on a class C (normal) license, air brakes are a restriction rather than an endorsement, and regular licenses are not air brake restricted. So as long as the vehicle is under 26k and has air brakes, you are good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IronChariot
Porkchop, I got a similar spider bite in PA last summer on vacation, complete with track marks, visit to urgent care and course of antibiotics. Did you see the critter? I felt the SOB chomp down on my thigh twice but didn't have the pleasure of crushing the f@ker into goo. Hopefully you got more satisfaction in your encounter.
I did not see it. I would have burnt the fucker if I did, because I got a bite like that a month or so prior. I fogged my room and my bus with insect foggers, and have been ok since, but I think it is probably an allergic reaction to some bugs venom because of the way it reacts. But who knows, did you feel any ill effects?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbstewart
sounds like you had a blast its so true, things come loose, I had screws fall off, and the bracket that held my microwave oven broke too, but It didn't fall out, I guess part of the problem is a bus has such a stiff ride things just loosen up. I had my bus weighed, 8500kgs(18700pounds) with that info I lowered the tire pressure to 75 pounds, and it made a noticeable improvement in the ride, this should help keep things screwed into place.
gbstewart
This one has a wicked stiff ride. I hope new shocks will help but maybe not. I just need to anchor stuff better, and if I ever question if it is strong enough than it needs to be stronger! I would rather keep psi up for mpg, but good idea.
I know what you mean, our roads are so rough and twisty/off camber I have a wall loose, I didnt realize 3 years ago the bus would flex so much, everything else I have built I leave a 3/8 or 1/2 gap to deal with roads now

you all had fun and thats important....picture was awesome of sunset
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